Preparing Your Business’ Online Presence for Tourist Season

Do you run a business in the Virgin Islands that is heavily dependent upon tourism? If so, now is the time to get busy upping your online presence.

Why? For one reason, Google’s crawlers periodically scan your web site to review your content. It’s these scans that help Google determine how relevant your site is for a particular search. For obvious reasons you want your site to appear when someone searches for a word or phrase that’s relevant to your business.

How Long Does it Take for Google to Crawl Your Site?

The time it takes from when Google scans your site to when your content shows up in search results can take four to six months. Note that I’m not saying this is how long it takes for your site to show up on Google. When I launched the ampliVI site it appeared in Google search results in a matter of days – but only if I was searching for ampliVI to find it. It took much longer for the site to appear when I searched for Virgin Islands social media management.

Planning ahead can make a difference in how well your page ranks in a search. For example, if your business sells lamps, you might want to create individual pages that talk about reading lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, LED lamps, or lampshades. Try to think of what people who are looking for your business would search for, and these are the words that you want on your pages.

Where to put these words? If you sell services, make a services page. Or you could write a blog, with a separate post for each service. It’s OK to create both a services page and a blog page. On your blog posts, write about the items that you sell. Write a refreshed page about each item once or twice a year. Don’t delete the old blog posts – those help you show up in search results as well.

Social Media Can Help Your Online Presence

In addition to your web site content, make sure that you also have social media pages set up for your business. If you have a retail store, claim your Google My Business listing and keep the location map, phone number and hours up-to-date. The same goes for Facebook and Yelp. Even if you have not yet set up a Facebook or Yelp presence, your customers may already be on those sites reviewing your business. Claiming your page(s) ensures you get notified when someone reviews your business. Then you can control the message and respond to your customers.

Get Listed on Other Sites

If you rely on tourism to fuel your business, take your online presence to other pages. Manage your listing on TripAdvisor and our local business directories. Go To St. Croix, Virgin Islands This Week, Visit USVI are three popular sites that get a lot of visits.

The bottom line? Give Google plenty of time to soak up all of your business’ content. You will be rewarded by showing up in search results, clicks, and new business. Don’t know where to start? We’d be happy to help.

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